Free Republic 1st Quarter Fundraising Target: $88,000 Receipts & Pledges to-date: $21,517
24%  
Woo hoo!! And the first 24% is in!! Thank you all very much for your continuing support!!

Keyword: astronomy

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • Bill Gates Backs Plan to Surveil the Entire Planet From Space

    04/19/2018 6:41:30 PM PDT · by bitt · 41 replies
    gizmodo.com ^ | 4/19/2018 | rhett jones
    EarthNow is a new company looking to provide satellite imagery and live video in virtually real-time. Its unsettling pitch describes a network of satellites that can see any corner of the globe and provide live video with a latency of about a second. And a look at the startup’s top investors gives a lot of confidence that this thing is happening. On Wednesday, EarthNow announced that it will emerge from the Intellectual Ventures ISF Incubator to become a full-scale commercial business. Its first round of investors is comprised of a small group of complimentary powerhouses: AirBus, the SoftBank Group, Bill...
  • Taco Bell Space Station? It’s possible, panelists say

    04/19/2018 5:59:45 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 19 replies
    Space News ^ | 4/19/18 | Debra Werner
    COLORADO SPRINGS — Future private space stations may be sponsored by major corporations, which prompted a spirited discussion during a panel on the future of low Earth orbit at the 34th Space Symposium here. “I don’t want the Taco Bell International Space Station,” said Erin MacDonald, modeling and simulation engineer for Engility’s Space and Mission Systems Group. “I think it goes against what the public perceives the space station is supposed to be like.” While the International Space Station is unlikely to be rebranded by Taco Bell or any other corporation, if a new commercial space station is “paid for...
  • Look at This Fascinating Variety of Planet-Forming Disks Around Other Stars

    04/13/2018 6:44:13 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 10 replies
    The European Southern Observatory (ESO) has released a stunning collection of images of the circumstellar discs that surround young stars. The images were captured with the SPHERE (Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch) instrument on the ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. We’ve been looking at images of circumstellar disks for quite some time, but this collection reveals the fascinating variety of shapes an sizes that these disks can take.
  • Earth’s Second Magnetic Field: Satellite Image Reveals Invisible Force From Ocean Currents

    04/12/2018 6:58:36 AM PDT · by DUMBGRUNT · 43 replies
    Inquisitr ^ | 12 Apr 2018 | Mia Lorenzo
    The Earth has a second magnetic field, one generated by ocean currents. Researchers know little about it, but images captured by satellites show this invisible force generated by the world’s salty oceans in perfect detail. ... ESA released a video detailing the changes in the Earth’s magnetic field over a 24-hour period... ...“It’s a really tiny magnetic field. It’s about 2-2.5 nanotesla at satellite altitude, which is about 20,000 times weaker than the Earth’s global magnetic field.”... Oceans may have a small contribution to the magnetic field that protects the planet from harmful cosmic rays, but it remains to be...
  • Wrong-Way, Daredevil Asteroid Plays 'Chicken' with Jupiter

    03/30/2017 8:13:58 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 33 replies
    space.com ^ | 03/29/2017 | Hanneke Weitering
    The unnamed asteroid shares Jupiter's orbital space while moving in the opposite direction as the planet, which looks like a recipe for a collision, astronomers said. Yet somehow, the asteroid has managed to safely dodge Jupiter for at least tens of thousands of laps around the sun, a new study showed. It was given the provisional designation 2015 BZ509 with the nickname "BZ." Scientists noticed that the asteroid moves in the opposite direction of every planet and 99.99 percent of asteroids orbiting the sun, in a state known as retrograde motion. ... BZ may seem like a lucky asteroid, narrowly...
  • Astronomers Just Found 72 Stellar Explosions, but Don’t Know What’s Causing Them

    04/10/2018 7:50:37 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 39 replies
    Universe Today ^ | 9 Apr, 2018 | Matt Williams
    A supernova is one of the most impressive natural phenomena in the Universe. Unfortunately, such events are often brief and transient, temporarily becoming as bright as an entire galaxy and then fading away. But given what these bright explosions – which occur when a star reaches the end of its life cycle – can teach us about the Universe, scientists are naturally very interested in studying them. Using data from the Dark Energy Survey Supernova (DES-SN) program, a team of astronomers recently detected 72 supernovae, the largest number of events discovered to date. These supernovae were not only very bright,...
  • Substantial Lack Of Phosphorus In The Universe Makes Finding Alien Life Unlikely

    04/05/2018 11:49:13 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 56 replies
    Tech Times ^ | 4/5/18 | Allan Adamson
    Amid efforts to find alien life, scientists have not yet confirmed the existence of an extraterrestrial civilization. Findings of a new study suggest this has something do with the element phosphorus lacking in the cosmos. Life-Giving PhosphorusPhosphorus is the 11th most common element on Earth, and it is fundamental to all living things. Phosphorus is one of only six chemical elements on our planet that organisms depend on. "[Phosphorus] helps form the backbone of the long chains of nucleotides that create RNA and DNA; it is part of the phospholipids in cell membranes; and is a building block of the...
  • Irreproducible astronomy

    04/05/2018 8:06:13 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 16 replies
    Physics Today ^ | 3 Apr, 2018 | Sarah Wild
    A combination of data-churning telescopes and proprietary algorithms has led to a slate of opaque research that has some astronomers concerned. When astronomer Kai Polsterer’s laptop was stolen, the thieves made off with more than hardware. The laptop contained Polsterer’s only copy of a collection of thousands of stars and galaxies, a sample that a computer algorithm had randomly selected from a data set consisting of millions of celestial objects. Because Polsterer could not re-create what the algorithm had done, he could not exactly reproduce his data set for a work-in-progress journal article. And without a data set, nobody could...
  • Are the Milky Way’s borders expanding?

    04/04/2018 9:19:56 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 31 replies
    Astronomy ^ | 3 Apr, 2018 | Amber Jorgenson
    Hundreds of billions of stars make up the barred spiral galaxy that we call home. The Milky Way’s 100,000 light-year diameter houses stars of different masses, luminosities, and ages, with new stars constantly being added to the mix. Star formation isn’t showing signs of slowing down, and this includes births at the outer edges of the galaxy. Could these young stars forming near the galactic edge be expanding the size of the Milky Way? A team of researchers, led by Ph.D. candidate Cristina Martínez-Lombilla of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias in Spain, presented research supporting this idea at the...
  • Astronomers Use a Quirk of Physics to Spot the Most Distant Star Ever Seen

    04/03/2018 6:39:08 AM PDT · by C19fan · 7 replies
    Popular Mechanics ^ | April 2, 2018 | John Wenz
    There are stars too faint to see in the night sky just a few light years away, yet a chance cosmic event gave us a glimpse of a star that would have otherwise been completely invisible due to its immense distance from Earth—a whopping 9 billion light-years away. A paper today in Nature Astronomy reports the discovery of the star, called MACS J1149 Lensed Star 1, or Icarus informally. Finding such a distant star is normally a tall order, but a larger object happened to pass in front of its home galaxy. When a large object passes in front of...
  • The Alien Observatory --"We May Soon Discover Worlds That Host Lifeforms with Strange...

    04/02/2018 6:23:28 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 46 replies
    In 2016, NASA sequenced DNA in space for the first time, but alien life, we may soon discover, may be vastly different on other planets and moons, particularly as we expand our efforts to explore ocean worlds with our solar system and beyond. “Most strategies for life detection rely upon finding features known to be associated with Earth's life, such as particular classes of molecules,” the researchers wrote. DNA and RNA are the building blocks of life on Earth, but the molecules of life might differ substantially on another planet. A new paper by scientists at Georgetown University, published online...
  • Hunting galaxies in Leo the Lion

    04/01/2018 4:56:21 AM PDT · by SandRat · 25 replies
    Twitter Email Print Save Leo the Lion is one of the more recognizable constellations in the April sky. It is also a great place to point a telescope and try your hand at deep sky observing. The “deep sky” is what astronomers call the realm beyond our solar system; it is populated with galaxies, nebulae and star clusters in abundance. As winter turns to spring, our evening sky turns away from the plane of the Milky Way. Our view is directed into deep space where we find external galaxies unhindered by the obscuring gas and dust of our own galaxy....
  • "Hubble confounds cosmology by not finding Dark Matter"

    03/31/2018 4:26:19 AM PDT · by Voption · 64 replies
    The John Batchelor Show ^ | March 31, 2018 | John Batchelor/Robert Zimmerman
    Using the Hubble Space Telescope astronomers have discovered a nearby galaxy that apparently has little or no evidence of dark matter. The unique galaxy, called NGC 1052-DF2, contains at most 1/400th the amount of dark matter that astronomers had expected. The galaxy is as large as our Milky Way, but it had escaped attention because it contains only 1/200th the number of stars.
  • Astrophysicists Claim They Found a 'Galaxy Without Dark Matter'

    03/28/2018 10:45:44 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 24 replies
    Live Science ^ | March 28, 2018 01:00pm ET | Rafi Letzter
    Here's a problem: The universe acts like it's a lot more massive than it looks. Take galaxies, those giant, spinning masses of stars. The laws of motion and gravity tell us how fast these objects should turn given their bulk. But observations through telescopes show them spinning way faster than we'd expect, as if they were actually much more massive than the stars we can see indicate. Astrophysicists have come up with two main solutions to this problem. Either there's a lot of mass out there in the universe that we can't detect directly, mass scientists call dark matter, or there's no...
  • Chinese space station to unleash 'series of FIREBALLS' before crashing into Earth in days

    03/27/2018 7:57:06 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 55 replies
    www.dailystar.co.uk ^ | 27th March 2018 | By Joshua Nevett
    THE REMAINS of an out-of-control Chinese space station are expected to light up the sky with “fireballs” before crashing down to Earth within days. China’s defunct space station, named Tiangong-1 or “heavenly place”, is expected to fall to Earth between March 30 and April 2, latest estimates suggest. Most of the eight-tonne space probe, launched in 2011, should “burn up” in the atmosphere before crash landing, Chinese space officials say. China’s space agency, CNSA, have never fully explained why Tiangong-1 "ceased functioning" on March 16 after reaching its "final phase of life". According to space experts, the odds of being...
  • 8 Times Flat-Earthers Tried to Challenge Science (and Failed) in 2017

    01/03/2018 11:19:08 AM PST · by Simon Green · 20 replies
    Space.com ^ | 12/21/17 | Stephanie Pappas
    In the stew of false information and conspiracy theories that swirls online, perhaps no idea is as flummoxing as the belief in a flat Earth. Flat-Earthers believe that the Earth is a flat disc ringed by an ice wall. All those elegant models of a round Earth that perfectly explain seasons, eclipses, sunrises and sunsets? Lies and cover-ups, they say. Pictures of the round Earth from space? Government conspiracies. The fact that you can see ships disappearing hull-first over the curve of the horizon with your own eyes? Well, flat-Earthers claim to see something different. It's been a big publicity...
  • 1st Known Interstellar Visitor Gets Weirder: 'Oumuamua Likely Had 2 Stars

    03/19/2018 4:09:06 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 16 replies
    Space.com ^ | March 19, 2018 06:12pm ET | Mike Wall,
    Our solar system's first known interstellar visitor is likely even more alien than previously imagined, a new study suggests. The mysterious, needle-shaped object 'Oumuamua, which was spotted zooming through Earth's neighborhood last October, probably originated in a two-star system, according to the study. 'Oumuamua means "scout" in Hawaiian; the object was discovered by researchers using the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS), at Haleakala Observatory on the island of Maui. ... "It's really odd that the first object we would see from outside our system would be an asteroid, because a comet would be a lot easier to...
  • Mars’ oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

    03/19/2018 4:16:16 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 15 replies
    UC Berkeley ^ | | March 19, 2018 | Robert Sanders,
    A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars’ putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million years earlier and were not as deep as once thought. The early ocean known as Arabia (left, blue) would have looked like this when it formed 4 billion years ago on Mars, while the Deuteronilus ocean, about 3.6 billion years old, had a smaller shoreline. Both coexisted with the massive volcanic province Tharsis, located on the unseen side of the planet, which may have helped support the existence of liquid water. The water...
  • The Moon WASN'T formed with one giant impact but had a bombardment birth after 20 moonlets hit...

    03/18/2018 6:36:56 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 65 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | January 9 2017 | AFP
    In such a scenario, scientists expect that about a fifth of the Moon's material would have come from Earth and the rest from the impacting body. The Moon, our planet's constant companion for some 4.5 billion years, may have been forged by a rash of smaller bodies smashing into an embryonic Earth, researchers have revealed. A bombardment birth would explain a major inconsistency in the prevailing hypothesis that the Moon splintered off in a single, giant impact between Earth and a Mars-sized celestial body. In such a scenario, scientists expect that about a fifth of the Moon's material would have...
  • Asteroid Bennu: Target of Sample Return Mission

    03/13/2018 6:30:05 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 5 replies
    Space.com ^ | March 12, 2018 11:31pm ET | By Elizabeth Howell,
    Bennu has a shape that looks a bit like a spinning top. It is roughly 500 meters (1,640 feet) in diameter and orbits the sun once every 1.2 years, or 436.604 days. Every six years or so, it comes very close to Earth — about 0.002 AU, according to the University of Arizona. (... well within the orbit of Earth's moon.) Bennu is part of a small class of carbonaceous (dark) asteroids that likely have primitive materials in them. Called a B-type class, Bennu and other asteroids like it have materials such as volatiles (compounds with a low boiling point),...